Women process multisensory emotion expressions more efficiently than men

Neuropsychologia. 2010 Jan;48(1):220-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.09.007.


Despite claims in the popular press, experiments investigating whether female are more efficient than male observers at processing expression of emotions produced inconsistent findings. In the present study, participants were asked to categorize fear and disgust expressions displayed auditorily, visually, or audio-visually. Results revealed an advantage of women in all the conditions of stimulus presentation. We also observed more nonlinear probabilistic summation in the bimodal conditions in female than male observers, indicating greater neural integration of different sensory-emotional informations. These findings indicate robust differences between genders in the multisensory perception of emotion expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Bias
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Probability
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult